Updated: 07/08/2014 10:09 PM
Created: 07/08/2014 9:19 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
Duluth residents are voicing frustration with the city's new street fee so one city councilor is proposing a new casino at the DECC to bring in more revenue.
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa stopped paying rent to the City of Duluth for the downtown casino in 2009. A legal battle over the payments continues, but the revenue from the Fond-du-luth Casino amounted to about $6 million a year, which the city used on street maintenance.
City Councilor Howie Hanson said the lost revenue is the main reason the council passed a new street fee last month.
“They called that the street fee. I call it the casino revenue replacement fee,” Hanson said.
He hopes the city can work out a deal with the Fond du Lac Band by the end of the year. If not, his resolution will push the state legislature to change gambling laws to allow for city-owned casinos.
“The responses that I'm getting from legislators, from people all over the state is almost deafening in terms of it's time might be here,” Hanson said.
If the law changed, Hanson envisions a new casino taking over the DECC's Pioneer Hall. He said it could bring in more money than the Fond-du-luth deal.
“Imagine if we could set aside $6 million every year, if we could set aside $8 to $10 million to fix our streets,” Hanson said.
The Fond du Lac Band has heard the argument before. In a written statement Chairwoman Karen Diver said, “The gaming market is already saturated by existing mature operations. Mr. Hanson's idea is not new and has been part of the city's past rhetoric.”
Hanson said a new casino could take a tax burden off residents, but he's not sure how other councilors feel about the idea.
“There's no way to gauge where the council or the administration is on this issue,” Hanson said.
However, their opinions will be heard soon. The resolution is up for discussion at the city council's agenda meeting on Thursday, and Hanson expects the council to vote on the resolution on Monday.
Minn. Man Charged with 59 Counts of Sexual Assault Arrested in Brazil
A Minnesota man wanted for 59 felony counts of criminal sexual assault from allegations that he abused young women while acting as their pastor was arrested in Brazil Friday.
Michigan Works to Thwart Barrage of Cyberattacks
Michigan is aiming to invest in cyber security and position itself as a national leader in the field as attacks on governments increase. The state receives more than 730,000 attempted attacks daily. That number is rising as hackers aim to collect valuable information from Michigan's networks.
St. Louis County Follows National Rise in Female Incarceration
The number of women behind bars in the U.S. is rising at an alarming rate: nearly double the increases seen for male incarceration. While the number of incarcerated women in this country is still significantly less than men, but it's a 646 percent increase in women behind bars over the last 30 years that's turning heads.
UMD Professor Getting National Recognition for Research
Professor Byron Steinman is in his second semester at UMD, but he is already making a big impression. Steinman has been working over a year on the causes of climate change, and his recent work is getting published in Science Magazine. Furthermore, it is getting some national attention, including from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
Gogebic Taconite Suspends Investments, Closes Hurley Office
Blaming regulatory uncertainty, Gogebic Taconite has suspended investments in its proposed northern Wisconsin mine and closed its office in Hurley, leaving four people without jobs and raising questions about whether the mine will ever be built.